Wandy Rodriguez Rumors

Yankees Eyeing Matt Garza

Matt Garza interests the Yankees more than other potentially available starters, so GM Brian Cashman could pursue the right-hander this summer, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports. The Red Sox could also pursue Garza, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com notes (on Twitter).

The Yankees appear to have little interest in Brewers right-handers Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum, Heyman writes. The team has concerns about how Greinke would pitch in New York and members of the New York front office aren’t sure about Marcum as an American Leaguer.

The Yankees also have concerns about Ryan Dempster’s ability to transition to the American League. While the Brewers have a buyer’s mindset, the Cubs appear willing to listen on most of their players. Wandy Rodriguez of the Astros could be another option for the Yankees, Heyman notes.


Heyman On Myers, Lee, Wright, Rangers

The latest notes and rumors from Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com:

  • Astros people say they aren't thinking about trading their veteran players at this point, according to Heyman. One non-Astros executive likes Wandy Rodriguez and Brett Myers as midsummer trade candidates. 
  • However, the executive said it won't be easy to move Carlos Lee and his $18MM salary. Lee can block trades to 14 teams and badly wants to stay in Houston. A possible trade to the Brewers fell through months ago, Heyman reports.
  • High-level Mets people such as COO Jeff Wilpon generally support David Wright, Heyman reports. The Mets won't trade Wright this summer and will try to lock him up before long, Heyman writes. It would take something "extraordinary'' for Wright to be traded this year, GM Sandy Alderson confirmed to Heyman. If the Mets were to trade Wright this summer, he would obtain the right to void a $16MM club option for 2013 and become a free agent this offseason. Mets people view Wright as a more reliable player than Jose Reyes, Heyman writes.
  • Heyman also points out that Josh Hamilton's performance is going to make re-signing him that much more complex for the Rangers.

Luhnow On Astros’ Trade Candidates

The 13-15 Astros have scored more runs than they’ve allowed so far this season, but they’re still expected to be sellers at the summer trade deadline. GM Jeff Luhnow acknowledged to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that he'll consider trades that add talent to the organization. 

“If we have pieces on our club that are in demand by other clubs and we get enough future value for them to make up for the short-term loss, we’ll consider every opportunity,” Luhnow told Rosenthal.

The GM expects rival teams to have interest in some of his players late this summer. Left-hander Wandy Rodriguez, closer Brett Myers, first baseman Carlos Lee and reliever Brandon Lyon are playing well, but Luhnow said he’s not actively looking to make trades yet.

“We need those guys right now,” Luhnow said. “I’m not in any rush to have any conversations about our veteran players.”

Rodriguez, Myers and Lee have $10MM or more remaining on their contracts and relative to other middle relievers, Lyon’s $5.5MM salary is hardly a bargain. The Astros would presumably need to absorb a considerable percentage of their veteran players’ contracts to obtain highly-regarded prospects in trades.



NL West Notes: Ethier, Colletti, Wandy, Padres

Tim Lincecum earned his first win of 2012 today in the Giants' 6-1 win over the Mets, but it was far from a vintage Lincecum outing.  The right-hander threw 108 pitches and allowed four hits, five walks and one run through five innings, a line that could've been a lot worse were it not for a superb bases-loaded double play turned by the Giants in the fifth.  Lincecum's ERA sits at 8.20 through his first four starts of the season.

Here's the latest from the NL West…

  • Dodgers GM Ned Colletti told Jim Bowden and Casey Stern of MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM that he has already talked to the team's new owners about a contract extension for Andre Ethier. The topic will be further explored once the Dodgers' sale is finalized. Ethier's contract is up after this season and MLBTR's Dan Mennella recently examined the outfielder's free agent stock. 
  • From that same appearance, Colletti said that he'd like to add another bat before the July 31st trade deadline, reports Bowden (via Twitter).
  • Troy Renck of the Denver Post doubts the Rockies still have interest in Astros starter Wandy Rodriguez (Twitter link). The Rockies claimed the left-hander off of waivers last August, but were unable to complete a deal with former Houston GM Ed Wade.
  • Padres GM Josh Byrnes has worked hard to sign his team's young stars to contract extensions, a practice he learned from working in the Indians' front office in the early 1990's, writes MLB.com's Corey Brock.

MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith contributed to this post


Rosenthal On Halladay, Royals, Wandy

Roy Halladay is pitching differently this year, according to pitch f/x data and team officials who spoke to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Though Halladay remains effective, he’s relying on different weapons than the ones he used in the past. Here are Rosenthal’s latest rumors:

  • The Royals have lost ten consecutive games, but GM Dayton Moore says it’s not always bad to scuffle. “I’m not shocked that we’re struggling out of the gate,” Moore told Rosenthal. “Although you expect good things to happen, we’re very young.” Rosenthal cites a scout who was “decidedly unimpressed” by the Royals’ play this weekend.
  • Rosenthal suggests the Padres might be inclined to trade Carlos Quentin if he hits well once he returns from knee surgery in May. Rosenthal wonders if the Padres might look to sign Quentin to a two-year deal in the $18-20MM range if he has a decent season.
  • Many teams are intimidated by Wandy Rodriguez’s contract, Rosenthal reports. The left-hander earns $10MM in 2012 and $13MM in 2013. The Astros hold a $13MM club option for 2014, but it becomes a player option if they trade him.
  • Some executives were surprised the Reds committed $72.5MM to Brandon Phillips when some of their best prospects (Billy Hamilton and Didi Gregorius) are middle infielders.
  • Adam Dunn looks more comfortable at the plate this year, one scout says.

Spanish Links: Vazquez, Wandy, Jorge Vazquez

Links in Spanish about three jugadores who don't know where they'll be a year from now…

  • Javier Vazquez received calls from two general managers this offseason, and his agent received calls from others, the pitcher told Esteban Pagán Rivera at the Puerto Rican paper Primera Hora. Vazquez says he was frank with his suitors, saying, "I haven't felt the slightest itch to play. But I haven't announced my retirement because who knows if, three months or a year from now, I get the urge to play again."
  • Wandy Rodriguez is approaching this offseason's trade rumors as if he were a soldier and the Astros were his army, the 33-year-old lefty told Juan Mercado from the Dominican daily El Día. "Wherever they send me, that's where I'll go, since I don't have any city in particular (in mind)," Rodriguez said. The Astros originally signed Rodriguez as an international free agent in 1999, and he says he appreciates the team that "opened the doors" for him to make it to the majors. "Now, if they decide to trade me, the only thing to do is accept it and leave."
  • Slugging Yankee prospect Jorge Vazquez is growing impatient with the minor leagues and would like to try Japan or Korea if there's not a place for him in the major leagues, according to the president of the Mexican League's Tigres de Quintana Roo, where Vazquez played in 2007 and 2008. "If they don't give him an opportunity this year, he wants them to trade him, or to go to [play] baseball in the east," Cuauhtémoc "Chito" Rodríguez told Fernando Ballesteros at Puro Béisbol. "He doesn't want to continue on in Triple A anymore, not just with the Yankees, but with any other organization as well." Vazquez made a case for being MLB-ready in 2011, putting up a .262/.314/.516 line with 32 homers at Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

NL Central Notes: Greinke, Cardinals, Rodriguez

All three of the National League's unsigned arbitration eligible players play in the NL Central, as MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker shows. Here are the latest links from the division…


Rosenthal On Lincecum, Jackson, Red Sox, Abreu

The Prince Fielder sweepstakes are nearing an end, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports wrote earlier this morning. Click here for the latest on Fielder and continue reading for Rosenthal’s rumors…

  • It appears likely that Giants starter Tim Lincecum will sign a two-year deal in the $41-42MM range, Rosenthal writes. The Giants and their ace right-hander exchanged arbitration submissions last week and the club has since offered Lincecum a deal worth $100MM-plus.
  • It’s possible that Edwin Jackson will sign a one-year contract, like fellow Scott Boras client Ryan Madson. The Red Sox and Mariners could be interested in Jackson if he’s willing to sign for one year. 
  • The Red Sox aren’t pursuing Wandy Rodriguez, according to Rosenthal.
  • The Orioles could be a logical trade partner for Yankees right-hander A.J. Burnett in Rosenthal’s estimation.
  • The Red Sox seem to have interest in acquiring an everyday shortstop and the Reds, Giants and Rays are looking for veteran shortstop help, Rosenthal writes. 
  • Free agent infielder Ryan Theriot would prefer to stay in the National League, unless he can obtain a starting job.
  • Earlier in the offseason the Astros inquired about Ian Desmond, who hasn’t convinced everyone with the Nationals that he’s their long-term solution at shortstop.
  • Some teams would play Gordon Beckham at short, according to Rosenthal. Beckham has only played second and third in three seasons at the MLB level.
  • The Angels aren’t ready to trade Bobby Abreu, who could be a fit for Detroit’s DH opening.

Red Sox Keeping Tabs On Wandy Rodriguez

Carlos Lee's name has been the one most frequently mentioned in Astros trade rumors recently, but Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports cautions not to forget about Wandy Rodriguez. Morosi adds that the Red Sox have been keeping tabs on the Houston lefty (Twitter links).

Boston would prefer to sign a free agent, according to Morosi, and have been linked to Roy Oswalt. The Red Sox traded Marco Scutaro to the Rockies yesterday, which freed up $6MM in payroll. That type of money is almost enough to accommodate Oswalt's one-year asking price, but not to accommodate Rodriguez's $10MM salary. He's also guaranteed a $13MM salary in 2013.

Rodriguez, 33, has a 3.36 ERA over the last three seasons in 591 2/3 innings with an 8.2 K/9, 3.0 BB/9, and a 46% groundball rate. His K/9 has declined for three straight seasons however, while his BB/9 has increased each of those years. There's also the issue of Rodriguez's 2014 option; the Astros currently hold a $13MM club option on Rodriguez, but that becomes a player option if he's traded.


Stark On Yankees, Red Sox, Reds, Garza

The new collective bargaining agreement has created millions of dollars in incentives for teams to be below the luxury tax when it reaches $189MM in 2014, according to ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark. The upcoming changes have contributed to the relatively restrained spending on the part of the Yankees and Red Sox this offseason, Stark writes. Here are the rest of his rumors…

  • The Yankees won’t be under the luxury tax threshold in 2012 or 2013, but they hope to spend less than $189MM in 2014, Stark writes. However, the CBA isn’t the only reason the Yankees are spending more cautiously. "I think this is what the Yankees were going to do, regardless," one of Stark’s sources said.
  • Hiroki Kuroda is sending signals to the Yankees and Red Sox that he’d like to sign with one of those teams, Stark reports. The Red Sox are “nowhere near close” on Kuroda while the Yankees are mostly “kicking tires,” Stark hears. Stark's colleague Buster Olney reported today that Kuroda's asking price has dropped to the $10-11MM range.
  • Though rival teams were surprised to see the Reds agree to terms with Ryan Madson, the move will help the team stockpile draft picks. They’ll obtain a compensatory pick when Francisco Cordero signs elsewhere and could obtain two more picks if they tender Madson a contract next offseason and he leaves as a free agent.
  • The Reds are going to attempt to turn Aroldis Chapman into a starter this Spring Training, though there’s some skepticism he’ll thrive in the rotation.
  • Chad Qualls’ name is on the Phillies’ shopping list, Stark reports.
  • Rival teams predict the Cubs won’t trade Matt Garza until July, when there are fewer alternatives available in free agency.
  • Stark hears that the Astros would pay half of the $18.5MM remaining on Carlos Lee’s contract and at least $7MM of the $11MM that Brett Myers will earn in 2012. Wandy Rodriguez is also available, though the Astros don’t appear to be nearing a deal involving the left-hander.